Premier denies delay over cannabis oil laws

| 08/08/2016 | 57 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin in the LA

(CNS): The government has denied any delay in paving the way for the medical use of cannabis oil, following concerns that patients have been waiting more than nine months for the promised legislation. Premier Alden McLaughlin said officials have only been working on the necessary legal amendments since May, in the face of some opposition from the medical community, to allow the lawful medicinal use of cannabis oil for patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy and other conditions and that three laws need to be amended in order to facilitate its importation and prescription by a doctor.

McLaughlin said that it was “untrue that the government promised to change the law” last year though he confirmed that the idea was first raised with him, as health minister, in November.

“We started the stakeholder consultation process and appointed a committee made up of medical professionals and a range of others. They researched and debated the issue and produced a report,” he stated. “The decision was only taken by Cabinet in May this year,” the premier told CNS. “We could not make a major policy decision without the benefit of proper advice.”

Disappointed by the recent criticism in the broader community, the premier said government was trying to help and that the legislative changes were proceeding as swiftly as the system permits.

“There is not strong backing from the medical community for this,” McLaughlin said, “but we pressed on and, as I said in May, took the policy decision to allow the use of the oil. But we still required the amendments to the law to be drafted.  That takes time. I hope to have them for Cabinet consideration next week.”

Yesterday, CNS reported on the struggle of one local family. Dennie Warren’s wife is at the end of the road when it comes to conventional medicine and is are desperate to try the oil, as there have been some incredible results in patients that are using it as a treatment in cancer and in other serious and life threatening conditions.

But the lack of a body of medical and scientific research to support the efficacy of the drug in the face of many anecdotal and genuine stories of miracle recoveries makes some members of the medical community reluctant to support its use. There is evidence that the drug is at worst harmless and can certainly ease the suffering of those who are terminally ill. But at best there have been many documented case where the oil is holding back or even reversing some cancers.

As more states in the US and nations legalise its use, the numbers of patients taking and likely to recover as a result of the medication may grow.

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Category: Health, Laws, Medical, Politics

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Since the big issue is importation, why not change the legislation so that it may be cultivated here legally, and then we can produce our own oil? I wonder how fool the premier think people really are? Maybe most are fools but not all. If so many people can give input in getting around this hurdle, why cant the oh so qualified and smart politicians come up with solutions to the problem? Why on God’s green earth are we even trying to source a supplier for import? GROW THE PLANT AND MAKE THE OIL!!!!! There are enough chemists on island that are qualified to refine the raw cannabis oil using fractional distillation (similar to refining crude oil) to separate all of chemical compounds in the raw oil like Delta 9 THC, CBD, CBN, waxes, terpenes etc. It would be interesting to see which medical professionals are a part of this committee that was made up. It would be even more interesting to review the report produced. I have no confidence in the PPM not their made up committee.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The world is full of people with chronic conditions dreaming that unavailable treatments would answer their prayers. Don’t let this treatment in in that basis.

  3. juniper says:

    I enjoy cannabis oil and all other marijuana products on a daily basis. I never could be bothered about the law

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Alden be open, please release the Committee’s report and inform us the reasons some people or organizations oppose the medical use of cannabis oil.

    • Anonymous says:

      If facts matter to proponents: apart from approved methods to ease nausea, comfort and appetite complications and preclinical studies looking at cell culture models and mice, there don’t appear to be any oncologist-approved studies nor FDA approved dosages for inserting homemade cannabis oil suppositories in humans. Maybe this alternate treatment, in conjunction with diet and other changes has some coincident anecdotal merit, but it would be madness for any state government to fully endorse the use of popular internet medicine, or change laws to enable sick people to potentially further injure or sicken themselves. CIG’s health apparatus certainly cannot handle that burden of liability any better than the much larger countries of the world with greater resources and fields of intellect.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Premier McLaughlin, be the open, transparent government you promised us when you were elected, inform us the terms of reference of the committee, how were the members of the committee selected for appointment, what data / information / records / research did the committee consider in reaching their decision, what are the minutes of the committee meeting, what is the report of the committee, what is the involvement of Caucus on this subject, what was the decision of Caucus.

    In other words be a truly modern leader an involve the wider public, not just the special interests.

    Premier McLaughlin your reply is awaited on this very serious subject affecting the lives of loved ones.

  6. Troots Betold says:

    Nothing can be made legal here until those with the ability to amend the law have first determined how to personally profit once enacted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Troots Betold I did not know that but since you are well versed on it I guess you can’t wait for your piece of the pie.

  7. Just Watchin says:

    It didn’t take all of these gyrations and consultations to amend the Parliamentary Pensions Law though and to give Mary Lawrence free medical for the rest of her life. Politicians are good at looking after their own; it’s just us who elect them that they don’t give a sh___ about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wit probably took over a year to go through the process regarding Mary Lawrence medical.

  8. Anonymous says:

    who even listens to this alden anymore?….his spineless flip-flop on something as easy as daylight savings times tells you everything…..

  9. Sea Egg says:

    Alden you are doing the right thing.Take your time and get it right. Just because someone says something does not mean that it is true . Just because someone claims to have been cured by this oil does not mean that it is true. Please consider that these claims could be made by someone interested in making a fortune from the cannabis oil business. I wonder how many right here on island supporting this are waiting to do the same. ( I am not referring to the Warrens). Let us remember why we voted out the UDP ; because its leader preferred the progress without bureaucratic harassment method, or as I call it the ‘haste makes waste strategy’.Now that we have a Government that follows process we are complaining again.How about some of you work towards getting the Warrens to Florida for example where it is already legal and organize a fundraiser to pay for their expenses until such time that it is available here.Perhaps somebody can donate a house for their use,somebody else may arrange to cover daycare, someone for groceries etc. Please lets not wait any longer and get the ball rolling.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The reason that the scientific and medical communities do not support the concept of “medical marijuana” is that it has never been shown to do anything except get people high. There is no therapeutic benefit from cannabinol that cannot be achieved by an existing, legal medication. Cannabinol certainly does not treat the abnormal cellular processes characteristic of most cancers.

    • Kelly says:

      To 3:15pm.

      Please stop spreading BS. You are completely ignorant on this subject; you better wake-up and realize the truth.

      Here it is: pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars, you introduce marijuana and they lose A LOT of money. It has always been about the money, not what’s best for mankind.

      Marijuana at the very least helps to PREVENT cancer. You can either educate yourself properly or continue to live in denial.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, but you are dealing with jesus freaks.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Jesus freaks win. Didn’t you know, have you not heard? God champions the despised. Keep on despising. See how far you get.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Surely if medical cannabis oil is legal and available in all the US FDA approved – there should not be any problem of getting approval to have it properly prescribed here as a matter of urgency – there are so many documented cases of recovery from this scourge of cancer on the internet that it is appalling that our ‘powers that be’ cannot get off their high horse and pass this law. Yes the cancer industry is very lucrative and they do not care who survives as long as they can keep them going to line their pockets. Check out & for a lot of eye openers. Drs love to put the fear in you if you do not do their treatments saying there are no other choices. So many strong drugs with a myriad of side effects including death are allowed to be prescribed here the most major being chemotherapy yet something as natural and simple as Cannabis Oil has to go through so much nonsense to be made available to us all who suffer unbearably. Shame shame shame yet I am not surprised as there are a lot of big bucks passing and much to lose by those who do not want it into law. People look up http://www.hope4cancer in Cancun and Tijuana – – doing wonders for cancer patients and there are many others in the US to choose from

    • Anonymous says:

      it is clear to me that not one of you has any idea how to create a comprehensive policy. FDA approval really?

      so please tell me what is the recommended dosage for someone who needs cannabis oil and who are the exporters of cannabis oil.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some people are saying that Mrs. Warren would have to go to Colorado, some are saying Amsterdam, some mention Mexico and others are suggesting a myriad of other places and treatments. It seem to me that there is still much confusion on this entire program so I think it is grossly unfair to the Premier and politicians to suggest that Cayman should have already have its plan laid out and ready to roll this out. I feel for this family but I think the warrens should seriously consider gathering some funds by whatever legal means necessary and go to one of these countries for treatment rather than expecting the government to put this in place. Things like this takes time, look at Jamaica, they have been working towards legalizing medical marijuana longer than we have been and they are still not at the point where you can go there and get the treatment. The mentioned countries are much more developed when it comes to health issues and treatments, this is not something that should be rushed, to do that would be reckless I trust that in due course with proper planning and research this treatment will be available for whoever might have the unfortunate need for it. As I posted under the previous story I would be willing to donate a little money and I am sure others would be ready and willing to give. I do realise we are from that era where we would not even think about asking for assistance, but we do know how to come together in an emergency . Corporation as well as individual usually come together for causes such as this. Right now I will say a prayer for the warren family.

  12. Kim Bush Smith says:

    Visualize, dream, plan and organize your new business venture
    Assess and pick the right locations
    Select your legal and financial teams
    Navigate through the entire legal process
    Find the money or capital that you will need to finance your new business venture
    Learn how to put a business plan together
    Design a dispensary and grow facility
    Learn how to grow marijuana
    Hire the right staff for your business
    Learn about Air tight Security
    And, everything else you will need to own and operate a profitable marijuana business…It would bring people there for treatment it’s a win-win.

  13. Anonymous says:

    CNS do you have any intel on who the stakeholders are? I would have thought this to be transparent but likely its made up of the usual suspects and special interests wanting to put the lid on this. The medical professionals they talked to have probably been ignored if they are in favor.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What about the law they promised to update in relation to Prohibited Persons?? It’s been ober ten years we have been waiting for them to do that. I am so sincere when I say our government is complete garbage. And much bigger and stinker than the landfill ever will be.

  15. Diogenes says:

    If I legalise the use of oil, Voter Group A will say I am encouraging drug use or starting Cayman on a slippery slope to wider consumption, even though it has to be prescribed, and I will get punished at the polls. With single member constituencies even a few votes makes a difference. However, if I don’t legalise it, Voter Group B will accuse me of allowing the suffering of people that might benefit, and punish me at the polls. Solution: say you are considering it and it is going through a process, but don’t actually bring the necessary law to the LA until after the election, thereby appeasing both groups by hinting to A that it will never go through, and B that its just a timing issue.

    One wonders if the police would have the brass neck to prosecute someone getting off a flight from Jamaica with cannabis oil destined for a relative of themselves with cancer?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Soon come……

  17. Anonymous says:

    alden/ppm always have an excuse for their own incompetence……

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is actually hilarious. Medical community will never support medical use of marijuana. Meantime, SURVIVAL rates, pay attention, S U R V I V A L, not cure, is only what? 5 years!! This is like insult to people.
    Everyone who watched Breaking Bad saw how much 2 years survival cost to a person with money.

    • Lena says:

      There are many stories and they are true, where people are diagnosed with cancer and they walk out the hospital go home and try natural remedies and come out on top cancer free.

      I know of a specific case where a middle-aged lady, like myself, had spots on her brain, cancerous and started smoking weed instead of doing chemotherapy or radiation. When she went back to see the doctor a few weeks later and did another brain scan, ALL the spots had disappeared.

      The doctors were shocked and couldn’t explain it….today she is living healthy and happily.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it’s time for some families to face the truth about their politicians and then to look in the mirror and accept that simply because ‘you’ want and need legislation to change doesn’t mean it must for your sake so best bet, use any other citizenship and do what needs to be done to give your relatives a chance to survive and stop wasting time thinking you’re so special the government must bend to your wishes, however honourable those values may be.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hon. Premier stated “We started the stakeholder consultation process and appointed a committee made up of medical professionals and a range of others. They researched and debated the issue and produced a report,”

    Please tell us who this committee was made up of, and please publish the “report” they produced. A public statement issued in May advising the law would be changed to accommodate importation of cannabis oil as a matter of priority. It is now August.

    Absolutely shameful.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Alden didn’t delay the release of the GM mosquitos though!

  21. Anonymous says:

    How long does it take to amend a law? It has been several months since the official announcement… and at that time it was made a priority or in the primer’s words a “matter of urgency”… so I really have to ask again, how long does it take to amend a law? Also, I haven’t heard or seen any major opposition.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Legal Practitioners Law amendments were first discussed 12 years ago..and still no sight of any amendment. So how long…depends on political will

  22. Anonymous says:

    Marco, Wayne, Moses. You are leaders. Talk some sense into this man!

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL they are followers and focused on reelection so they cannot upset their leader! No spine or urgency in PPM they are as useless as the last lot.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Disgusting in so many ways.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh, sorry you feel disappointed but that’s exactly the way the people you represent feel.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Legalise it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Even in the face of proof that Marijuana can help those suffering , the medical community still debate it’s great benefits and why we shouldn’t allow it yet but you can run into any pharmacy and buy aspirin with known side effects such as gastrointestinal ulcerations, abdominal pain, gastritis, and bleeding to name a few. Cancer patients and other life long sufferers are the bread and butter of the medical profession, how dare we try to legalize a drug they can plant and ingest themselves with the potential to be so life changing without paying for regular doctor appointments and prescription. only reason for the uproar from the medical community is the fact that alot of them will become redundant and all that money and late night studying for those degrees will seem like a waste of time.

  27. Anonymous says:

    nonsense update as usual from alden…..

  28. Anonymous says:

    deny, deny, deflect, deflect, yada, yada, yada, Cayman time, soon come …meanwhile people are sick and dying and Big pharma drugs only making them worse. Now, while it’s already been proven over and over that cannabis therapy works, these man have to stumble and fumble and fiddle around. Come on man.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Internet medicine, conspiracy theories and misinterpretation of medical evidence are a dangerous mix.
    It’s easy to get lured by fantastic promises, particularly in the face of grim diagnoses. To the extent there are real scientific studies being conducted – those scientists are using high-quality isolated cannabinoid compounds, not an oil they bought online or made in their basement. Cayman should just decriminalize consumption of recreational pot – that’s really what this is all about. Make it a ticket, not a prison sentence and move on.

  30. Annie says:

    Funny that one can get pharmaceutical grade opioids from any Dr. Feelgood with ease, yet cannabinoids are oh so scary. Thank heavens pamprin isn’t on their black list.

  31. Anonymous says:

    My two cents on the matter is worthy of a repeat.

    MLAs of the Cayman Islands, the Premier said it best when he said “During his budget speech … Cabinet had considering[sic] the merits and demerits of legalising the use of medical cannabinoid oil and was persuaded that it is better to favour hope and compassion over fear.’

    Cabinet show some empathy, compassion and tolerance and DO THE RIGHT THING.. Amend this Law. The “Lives of the People of the Cayman Islands Do Matter.”

  32. Anonymous says:

    Alden, we do not believe you. You take so long to do anything you have earned the nickname of leader of the do nothing government. Even if you are telling the truth, your failure take on the civil service to get them to pick up the pace is an embarrassment.

  33. MM says:

    The PPM is VERY progressive… but for whom?

  34. Anonymous says:

    alden’s budget declaration was nothing more than a populist sound bite…..
    don’t worry ppm…. you will be judged on actual results……
    just like, landfill, immigration, port, cost of doing business….you have failed!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Problem is [she] doesn’t have the time to wait on the PPM to be judged at election time. I wonder if it was their daughter or niece or sister or a key supporter how much quicker a solution would have been found???

  36. Anonymous says:

    They are all useless. Disconnected from issues impacting people while the people suffer and ppm play politics.

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